State Assessment of Demographic Data and Youth Development to Advance 4-H Programs


  • Scott D. Scheer The Ohio State University
  • Trent Baldwin University of California, Davis
  • Amelia R. Michaels The Ohio State University
  • Julie Fox The Ohio State University
  • Kirk Bloir The Ohio State University



demographic data, theories, models, and frameworks of youth development, 4-H programs and practices


4-H youth development programs throughout the United States can be planned and delivered more effectively in their states by assessing demographic data and following research-based theories and models of positive youth development. A review of the research literature determined current youth development theories and models to effectively guide statewide 4-H program implementation. A state assessment was conducted for demographic areas of youth population age, race, socioeconomic status, health factors, child poverty (includes parent-guardian job status at the onset of COVID), and household structure. The Ohio 4-H Youth Development program utilized the demographic data to establish goals of becoming more diverse and inclusive. In addition, demographic data points help for targeted recruitment of youth to include families from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, household structures, and those with health risks. Finally, implications and conclusions are presented to serve as an illustration for other states to advance their state 4-H programs and practices.    

Author Biography

Scott D. Scheer, The Ohio State University

Professor, Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, The Ohio State Univeristy


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